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Pocahontas County Aims to Help Aquatic Wildlife

Wikimedia Commons
A regular pipe culvert.

Two groups aim to improve conditions for aquatic wildlife in Pocahontas County.

The Monongahela National Forest and Trout Unlimited are working together this summer to improve conditions for aquatic life in the town of Bartow, in Pocahontas County.

According to Greenbrier District Ranger Jack Tribble, aquatic organisms have difficulty traveling through poorly designed or failing culverts – these are pipes that allow water to flow under roads, railroads and trails. When damaged or if these culverts don’t line up with a stream, it can become a barrier for aquatic wildlife.

However, the two groups plan to create barrier-free passage for creatures in the streams by building open-bottomed culverts under forest service roads.

Tribble said in a news release that this will maintain the natural stream bottom and allow stream-dwelling organisms, like native trout and aquatic insects, to travel freely.

Three roads will be closed temporarily in Bartow during installation:

  • Forest Road 369 (Fox Run Road) will be closed where Fox Run crosses under it. This closure will not affect public use because Fox Run Road is not open to public use. This work will begin on or about July 31.
  • Forest Road 17 (Little River Road) will be closed where an unnamed tributary of Little River crosses under it just west of FR 14 (Middle Mountain Road). The road closure will begin on or about August 15. No through traffic will be allowed. A detour will be posted.
  • Later this fall, Forest Road 44 will be closed where Gertrude Run crosses under it between Forest Road 179 (Elklick Run Road) and Forest Road 178 (Gertrude Run Road). No through traffic will be allowed. A detour will be posted.

Each road will be closed for at least a couple weeks.

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